Melbourne 2016 - Riding on Joyous Occasion

We arrived in Melbourne on the evening of 24th December, Christmas eve! The flight was, meh. It was nothing like what most people swear by really. So much for quality! Very grateful to arrive safely because I don't think some of the staff could work under the slightest pressure anyway.

The weather in Melbourne was welcoming! I was told that it was going to be summer but since it was just the beginning of summer, we got the leftovers from the previous season. Most days when we were there it was very cooling! Throughout my fourteen days there, it was only hot less than a week!

Most places were closed by the time we reached because it was Christmas eve. You will not have much to do unless you are into empty streets on Christmas day. For me, I took the opportunity by taking tonnes of photos! Although most shops were closed, there were some eateries that were open and people still flock the streets of Melbourne to enjoy the sights and sounds of the night. There were shows around and come midnight, most of them gathered at St Paul's Cathedral to witness Christmas carol performances by the choir.

We were from Federation Square to check out if there were any concerts or gigs to enjoy but we missed it! Our eyes were treated with this cute lego Christmas tree. Pretty amazing! Across Federation Square is St Paul's Cathedral, one of the oldest churches in Melbourne. The location for the cathedral marks the place of the first Christian service held in Melbourne in 1835.

St Paul's Cathedral was open to public that night to mark one of the biggest highlights of 2016 calendar; Christmas. I was considerably fortunate to witness how different culture and different religion celebrate their festive occasion in their localised ways.

St Paul's Cathedral is an Anglican cathedral in Melbourne opened in 1931. It was built in stages between 1852 - 1926. To date, it is one of the City of Melbourne's major landmarks.

St Paul's Cathedral has hosted many significant occasions in national, Commonwealth and international history. It has done many state funerals and has played host to many distinguished foreign dignitaries.

Pope John Paul II once paid a visit to St Paul's Cathedral in 1986 in recognition of the dialogue between the Anglican and Roman Catholic churches in Melbourne fostered by their respective former archbishops.

The streets were really empty on Christmas day. It was like a ghost town! At one point I thought that was how Melbourne is - a dead but full running city. There were some shops open and mostly who were out were tourists. It was quite relieving to be in a town where there's not many people around. I don't have to squeeze, I don't have to walk against people who can't thread properly, and the best part, I can take any photos I want without having people obstructing me!

It was quite hot that day. What's intolerable was not the summer heat but the Australian bush flies! I was one of those on the streets to give the Aussie salute. It's a pretty seasonal salute if you get what I mean!

Things got better at night with Christmas coloured lights lighting up the facade of renowned landmarks! As most of these landmarks were built in the 18th century, its rocky facade gives it a very grand and classy effect against the red and green lights, reminding everyone of the festive occasion.

H&M's building looks stunning! It is one of Australia's most important public buildings. Known as Melbourne's GPO (General Post Office), it has stood there for more than 150 years and has dramatically transformed from being a postal hall to retail complex.

The neo-Renaissance style building went through a lot of physical changes between 1859 - 19077. A century later in 2007, it ended its postal services and was turned into a retail mall. Hence, a huge, historical home for the only H&M in Melbourne!

Boxing Day was crazy in so many ways! All retail were open with so many sales and discounts! There were so many people in some shops that you have to queue to enter! Sale items were tossed everywhere, and you have got to be quick. It was a crazy workout. We hopped from one shop to another (we had to be quick because shops closes early in Australia), and had to be swift and decisive in our purchases. Just as our army motto says!

Stay tuned for the next update! Have a wonderful week ahead!

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